By Leslie Scanlon, The Presbyterian Outlook.
A candidate has emerged to challenge the nomination of J. Herbert Nelson to be the next stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
David M. Baker, stated clerk of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay and its director of communications, has announced that he will challenge Nelson’s nomination. Baker was one of 13 people who formally applied for the nomination – so that makes him eligible to be a challenger.
Baker also met the deadline of informing the Stated Clerk Nomination Committee of his intention to stand for the office by May 4 – which is 45 days before the 2016 General Assembly convenes in Portland on June 18.
Baker, 39, is a teaching elder who earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and an undergraduate degree in psychology as a Monroe Scholar at the College of William and Mary. He is also the founder of a firm called Internet Outreach Experts, which helps churches create websites and an online presence.
From 2013 to 2015, Baker served as stated supply pastor for Woodlawn Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, and from 2008 to 2013 as associate pastor of Hyde Park Presbyterian Church in Tampa, Florida. From 2005 to 2007, he was the organizing pastor of Living Peace Church, a new church development in Ladysmith, Virginia.
On April 19, the committee had announced that it would nominate Nelson, director of the PCUSA’s Office of Public Witness, to succeed Gradye Parsons. Parsons, 63, announced last fall that he would not seek seen a third four-year term as stated clerk.
Editor’s note: The Layman reached out to Baker for an interview, but he failed to respond to our requests.